Clifford Irving (1930–2017) was the author of twenty books and the perpetrator of “one of the biggest literary hoaxes of the 20th century” (The New York Times). Born in Manhattan, Irving graduated from Cornell University and traveled widely before taking up residence on the Spanish island of Ibiza. He published three novels and a biography of Hungarian art forger Elmyr de Hory before launching, in 1970, a scheme to write a fake autobiography of the billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. Irving forged letters, made phone calls from exotic locations where he claimed to be meeting with Hughes, and duped CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace in an interview on 60 Minutes. After Hughes emerged from seclusion to say that he had never met Irving, the scheme fell apart. In 1972, Irving pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud and served sixteen months in federal prison. He documented the escapade and its aftermath in The Hoax (1981). His other books include Tom Mix and Pancho Villa (1982), The Angel of Zin (1984), Daddy’s Girl: The Campbell Murder Case (1988), Trial (1990), and Final Argument (1993).